Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed a new campaign by the British Heart Foundation and the Department of Health to make public access defibrillators (PADs) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training more widely available across England.
Nearly 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital each year, with fewer than one in ten surviving. However, a bystander giving immediate CPR and defibrillation can potentially double chances of survival. Currently, only 38 per cent of the public are aware they can use PADs in an emergency and only 22 per cent say they would be confident to do so. For this reason, the BHF will be accepting applications for PADs and CPR training kits from organisations such as charities, community groups and social enterprises. This is enabled by a £1 million grant from the Department of Health and forms part of the British Heart Foundation’s “Nation of Lifesavers Campaign”, which seeks to equip people across Britain with the vital skills they need to become potential lifesavers.
Commenting on the announcement, Caroline said:
“I was really shocked to learn that less than 10 per cent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest survive. Therefore, I welcome the scheme launched by the British Heart Foundation and the Department of Health this month to make public access defibrillators and CPR training more widely available across England.
This represents a really important opportunity for local communities to work together to help improve survival rates of people suffering cardiac arrests. I really hope Gosport groups get involved and I have written to a number of organisations urging them to make an application.”
It is vital that members of the public have access to these PADs, and therefore, applicants should be able to demonstrate its accessibility, preferably on a 24/7 basis. Furthermore, applicants should be prepared to commit to training within the local community and be able ensure the PAD is well maintained. A full criterion for applicants and details on how to apply are available here: https://www.bhf.org.uk/defibsdh